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Marchpole signs DKNY license

Marchpole has signed a joint venture and strategic licensing agreement with Donna Karan International to design and distribute a full range of DKNY menswear.

The first bridge level DKNY menswear collection will launch for spring 09 under the DKNY Black Label. Marchpole will target high-end department stores and independent retailers.

The DKNY joint venture will be operated via a separate company which will be 90% owned by Marchpole and 10% owned by Donna Karan International. Donna Karan International chairman and chief executive Mark Weber will join the board of the new joint venture.

Separately Marchpole said it had raised £2.5 million from Atlas Design AB through the issue and allotment of 1.3 million ordinary shares and the issue of £2.3m of loan notes. Marchpole said the net proceeds of the fundraising would be used to finance growth of the company and for general working capital purposes.

Atlas Design AB chief executive Allan Ladow and Atlas director Peter Wahlberg will both join the Marchpole board as non-executive directors.

Marchpole executive deputy chairman Michael Morris said: "I am delighted that we have reached this agreement with the very prestigious Donna Karan International, part of the Louis Vuitton Group and that we will have the opportunity to expand our business in the highly lucrative Far East and Middle East markets. The DKNY brand is recognised worldwide as one of the leading international lifestyle fashion collections and is a wonderful addition to our collection of luxury fashion brands."

Morris added: "We are delighted to have successfully negotiated this fundraising with Atlas Design. The funds will enable us to pursur opportunities for growth and the investment is an endorsement of our business strategy."

Yesterday, Marchpole posted a loss of £6.1 million for the year ended April 5, against a profit of £6.3m the previous year. Click here to read Marchpole's results.

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